• Otávio Santiago

Do you judge your own body? Here’s how to view it with love, not shame

Too many of us struggle to achieve a body ideal that’s just not obtainable by humans. It’s time to redefine what’s good, healthy and attractive on our own terms, say writers (and sisters) Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski.

The Bikini Industrial Complex. That’s our name for the $100 billion cluster of businesses that profit by setting an unachievable “aspirational ideal,” convincing us that we can and should — indeed we must — conform with the ideal, and then selling us ineffective but plausible strategies for achieving that ideal. It’s like old cat pee in the carpet, powerful and pervasive and it makes you uncomfortable every day but it’s invisible and no one can remember a time when it didn’t smell.

Let’s shine a black light on it, so you can know where the smell is coming from. You already know that basically everything in the media is there to sell you thinness — the shellacked abs in ads for exercise equipment, the “one weird trick to lose belly fat” clickbait when all you wanted was a weather forecast, and the “flawless” thin women who fill most TV shows. The Bikini Industrial Complex, or BIC, has successfully created a culture of immense pressure to conform to an ideal that is literally unobtainable by almost everyone and yet is framed not just as the most beautiful, but the healthiest and most virtuous.

But it’s not just magazine covers, ads and other fictions that get it wrong. The body mass index (BMI) chart and its labels — underweight, overweight, obese, etc. — were created by a panel of nineH individuals, seven of whom were “employed by weight-loss clinics and thus have an economic interest in encouraging use of their facilities,” as researchers Paul Ernsberger and Richard J Koletsky put it.

You’ve been lied to about the relationship between weight and health so that you’ll perpetually try to change your weight. But listen: It can be healthier to be 70 or more pounds over your medically defined “healthy weight” than just five pounds under it. A 2016 meta-analysis in The Lancet medical journal examined 189 studies, encompassing nearly four million people who never smoked and had no diagnosed medical issues. It found that people labeled “obese” by the CDC have lower health risk than those the CDC categorized as “underweight.” The study also found that being “overweight” according to the CDC is lower risk than being at the low end of the “healthy” range as defined by the US federal government and the World Health Organization.

Please, to access the full article visit Ideas Ted